Crist's Choice: FL Anti-Choice Bill Passes; Will Crist Veto It?

Florida Governor Charlie Crist, running for Senate as an Independent after facing sure defeat in a GOP primary, now faces an important decision:

After more than five weeks of waiting, Florida Governor Charlie Crist now has the most controversial bill of the 2010 Florida legislative session; and he promises a quick decision. The health care bill includes amendments that would require women seeking an abortion during the first trimester to undergo an ultrasound exam and pay for it. The bill would also require women to view the live ultrasound image or have it described by a doctor unless they could prove they were victims of rape, incest, or domestic violence.

Crist can solidify support with women, Democrats and moderate indies by vetoing the bill. As for the bill itself, it is a disgraceful intrusion on women's privacy. And it is unnecessary for enforcing the Hyde Amendment type restrictions already current Florida law. As the Palm Beach Post Ed Board explained:

Florida is one of 25 states that, along with the District of Columbia, make public financing available for abortion only in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest. Those are the same restrictions the federal Hyde Amendment imposes on the state-federal Medicaid insurance program for the poor. Those same restrictions will apply to abortion coverage provided through the insurance exchanges that states create under the Patient Affordability and Protection Act. The new federal law clearly states that women cannot use government subsidies to purchase abortion coverage.

Backers of HB 1143 insist that Florida needs a law prohibiting publicly financed abortions. In fact, the state has a long-standing policy to that effect. This bill began as legislation about licensing and staffing for nursing homes, but late in the session - with no committee debate - became a vehicle for partisan statements about abortion and the new health care law, designed to improve election prospects for Republicans, not health care for Floridians.

To reduce the number of abortions and the cost of health care, Florida should begin a bipartisan effort to reduce unwanted pregnancies. HB 1143 would force procedures on women who don't want or need them.

This proposed law clearly violates the undue burden standard established in Casey v. Planned Parenthood, the last time the SCOTUS fully revisited the issue of a woman's right to choose. One would hope that the courts would quickly strike down such a law if Crist chooses to sign it.

In any event, one expects that Crist's decision will be a political one rather than a legal one. The politics would seem to point to his vetoing this plainly unconstitutional bill.

Speaking for me only

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  • Display: Sort:
    there is this (none / 0) (#1)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 08, 2010 at 05:22:44 PM EST
    From May 24 (none / 0) (#2)
    by jbindc on Tue Jun 08, 2010 at 05:26:58 PM EST
    Crist, voters in synch on abortion bill, and oil drilling, poll finds

    When asked in a Miami Herald editorial board interview last week to assess the legislative session, Crist smiled, paused and said, "I think it took a hard right turn ... at the end. That was disappointing. It wasn't necessary.''

    Crist said lawmakers played for more politics than he.

    "I feel sorry for them,'' Crist said. "I have a lot of other things to worry about (than) putting up an ultrasound bill the last week of session and doing the kinds of things that appeal to a certain segment of my former party.''


    The politics (none / 0) (#3)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jun 08, 2010 at 05:52:45 PM EST
    of it are obvious to me: veto it and win the senate seat but I don't know Crist but I've seen too many former Republicans and even some Dems sign these kinds of bills to make me 100% sure in a prediction.

    I do think he'll veto it (none / 0) (#4)
    by andgarden on Tue Jun 08, 2010 at 05:56:31 PM EST
    The more interesting question is whether there will be a full "Conversion on the Way to Damascus" for him on choice in general. It would be politically quite convenient. Because his approvals are high, his goal must be to become the de facto Democrat.

    Me too, and from what little I know (none / 0) (#5)
    by ruffian on Tue Jun 08, 2010 at 06:23:20 PM EST
    about him he does not seem like a real ideologue anti-choicer. I don't think it would take a lot to push him to at least neutrality on the issue.

    I do appreciate the politics of it (none / 0) (#6)
    by lilburro on Tue Jun 08, 2010 at 10:02:56 PM EST
    but the political nature of it (which you surely nailed), I can only think of Crist "God, what an @sshole."

    yeah, I can't figure him out at all (none / 0) (#7)
    by ruffian on Tue Jun 08, 2010 at 10:28:08 PM EST
    His personality seems like he would be a lot happier in business. He must really have the political ambition bug. I really can't see what's in it for him.

    The (none / 0) (#8)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 12:05:33 AM EST
    United States Senate?

    Long Before Crist Ran for the Senate (none / 0) (#9)
    by john horse on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 07:41:57 PM EST
    he was doing some surprisingly progressive things.  Allow me to repost something I wrote about Crist in 2007.

    Crist Does The Right Thing (Again)

    Things sure have changed in Florida for the better since Jeb Bush left and Charlie Crist came in.  First, Crist has called for the abandonment of touch screen voting machines.  Now he wants automatic restoration of voting rights for ex-felons.  
    Why is Crist doing this?  Believe it or not there are some Republicans who are genuinely decent people and who want to do the right thing.